Ohana bookings positive ahead of launch: Dunkerley

New York
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Forward bookings at Ohana by Hawaiian “look fine” a week before flights begin, says Hawaiian chief executive Mark Dunkerley.

The new wholly-owned regional carrier will begin service between Honolulu International and Moloka’i on 11 March and add service to Lana’i on 18 March. Three 48-seat ATR 42-500 aircraft will operate flights.

Dunkerley is happy with the initial performance of Ohana and adds that they have received a warm reception in both Lana’i and Moloka’i, he says at a Wings Club event in New York today.

Ohana will initially fill in the gaps in Hawaiian’s neighbour island network by providing service to airports that are too small for its parent’s Boeing 717-200 aircraft. Service to the West Maui airport and on flights between Hilo, Kahului (Maui), Kona and Lihue are planned in the future.

The three aircraft fleet could eventually grow to six or seven aircraft, says Dunkerley.

Launch was delayed to March from July or August 2013 due to delays with US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification.

Idaho-based Empire Airlines will operate Ohana on behalf of Hawaiian for three years.